Uganda is gearing up for general elections in 2016 that according to observers including the CJA’s Joshua Kyalimpa will most probably re-elect president Yoweri Museveni, who has already had 30 years in office.
In preparation for that event, CJA Uganda hosted a three-day training workshop for 60 journalists in Kampala, funded by the CJA through a grant from the Commonwealth Foundation.
Uganda has a high turnover of trained journalists, and Kyalimpa says few in the media today have known any democracy other than the current regime. The legal and institutional changes that have been put in place to provide for a functioning multi-party political system in Uganda are yet to conform to the true principles of multi-party politics.
The media plays a critical role in promoting democracy and indeed a free a media is one of the indicators of a democratic society.
CJA Uganda under this mini project Action for Democracy trained 60 mid career journalists in reporting on democracy. It also worked with the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Media to identify areas in which the media and or journalists can be supported to be agents of democracy in Uganda.
The three day workshop opened with an address by Member of Parliament the Hon Peter Okeyoh (above, centre). Joshua Kyalimpa, CJA Uganda (right) and trainer Gwada Okot of the Civil Coalition for Electoral democracy (left) were also part of the opening ceremony.
Trainers for the workshop included Paul Busharizi, a blogger and journalist with Uganda’s New Vision daily. Besides the classroom sessions, participants visited the Parliament building to meet with members of parliament, and held a discussion on electoral reform with the Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy.